‘Cancel pact with Singapore Consortium’
Former Chief Secretary I.Y.R. Krishna Rao has urged Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to annul GO 179 selecting the Singapore Consortium, comprising Ascendas Singbridge and Sembcorp Development Limited, for the development of the start-up area of 6.84-km in the seed capital area as master developer. He also wanted the government to go for international competitive bidding with properly laid out criteria for selecting the master developer.
In a letter addressed to the Chief Minister on Saturday, the former bureaucrat expressed the view that awarding the work to the Singapore Consortium was not in public interest.
The Swiss Challenge proposal was “manipulated thoroughly,” he alleged. Mr. Rao said associating with the Singapore Government and its companies without verifying their credentials or without conducting due diligence on the country, its activities, and its firms and their activities was a questionable act. Pointing out that infrastructure was being developed by the government and land was made available free of cost, or at concessional rate, to the Consortium, Mr. Rao said the value addition by the firm was going to be very limited. The firm’s offering of 5%, 7.5% and 12% revenue share in three phases showed that the contract was fully loaded in their favour, he felt.
Many reputed economists doubted the procedures followed by the Singapore government with regard to foreign projects. They also expressed serious doubts over corrupt practices followed in bagging the contracts, he said. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) was yet to pronounce its judgment. The government, however, was starting the works, he added.